Committee to prioritize grants

County group will rank requests according to need, importance

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A county committee today will prioritize requests for grants from the state's Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program.

The three requests include:

n A request for a $500,00 grant and $270,000 loan to help the Steamboat Lake Water and Sanitation District complete the second phase of upgrading the district's wastewater treatment plant.

n A request for $230,000 to help the Oak Creek Fire Protection District pay for a new fire engine.

n A request for $70,000 to help Oak Creek add second-floor access and parking to the South Routt Community Center.

The county committee will rank the grant requests according to need and importance. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which administers the fund, will make a final decision about the grants by this summer.

"The prioritization weighs heavily with what the state does," Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan said.

The grant request from the Steamboat Lake Water and Sanitation District would let the district design and install a new wastewater treatment plant. In August 2004, the district was cited by the state for exceeding capacity during spring run-off, according to the grant application.

The water and sanitation district serves 135 homes and estimates adding about five new users each year. The total cost of the project would be $920,000, with the remaining $150,000 coming from the district's reserves.

A new fire engine would replace a 34-year-old engine, according to the Oak Creek Fire Protection District's application. The total cost would be $280,000, with the remaining $50,000 coming from the district's reserves.

The South Routt Community Center provides space for non-profit organizations that serve residents of South Routt County. The second-floor access would provide a safer environment for seniors and residents with handicaps, according to the application. Also, the change would offer a more efficient delivery route for food and other supplies needed.

The project would build a roadway, parking lot and retaining wall for second-floor access. It has an estimated cost of $94,000.

"The Community Center is an important resource for the South Routt community and is utilized by seniors from the entire South Routt area," stated a letter of support from Steve Jones, South Routt School District superintendent.

The county-level prioritization is important to the final decision made by the Department of Local Affairs.

The Energy Impact prioritization hearing is from 9:35 to 11 a.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room of the Routt County Courthouse Annex.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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